It is the time of the year that all educators dread…..testing season. Anxiety is up for students, teachers, and administrators. Instead of enjoying the last month and a half with our students, we feel the pressure of making sure they are ready for the test. I have read many blog posts and listened to podcasts of educators who are much wiser than me and can express themselves much more eloquently on this same subject. Here are a few of the ones that have really hit home.
Pernille Ripp– A Few Thoughts on Standardized Testing
Donalyn Miller– Desertification/
Todd Nesloney– STAAR student/parent letter
Mark Barnes– Hack Learning Uncut Episode 115- “The Worst Thing You Can Do To Your Students”
And here is my opinion…
This test is one day, this test doesn’t accurately assess what all the students have learned this year.
This test will not show that I had one student who told me repeatedly at the beginning of the year that she would NEVER, EVER find a book she enjoys, but last month found a series she likes and is on her second book in the series.
This test will not show that the students have heard a picture book read to them everyday and have had amazing discussions about the characters in the books. It will not show the thoughtful conversations and what the students have learned about themselves or felt in their hearts. It will not show what the students have learned about other cultures and other amazing people.
This test will not show the student who is making progress in his ability to read, but still turns red anytime he is asked to do a reading task because he lacks confidence and because of different reasons, to him, reading is hard. The test will not accurately depict his brilliance in making and creating. It will not show the confidence he has grown in other aspects. It will not show the progress he has made in using skills to sound out words, because the test is long and hard.
This test will not show similar stories of students throughout my school, my county, and my state.
I am proud of my students and what they have learned this year. There were two things I hoped my students would walk away from 4th grade knowing
1. I want them to know that they are valued and their dreams can become reality.
2. I want them to learn about others and be compassionate people.
I am proud of my students no matter what the test shows.